What is your role at TLC? My job title is Land Stewardship Associate (East), and I’m tasked with assisting in management and stewardship of all of TLC’s eastern owned properties.
Favorite TLC Preserve? Williamson!
Unlike many TLC staff and members whose love for conservation sparked from childhoods spent exploring outdoors, TLC’s new Land Steward Associate (East), Umar Muhammad, didn’t get introduced to nature until his early teenage years. He discovered the natural world because he had a brother who worked for Lookout Mountain Conservancy (LMC) in Chattanooga, TN.
Born in Chicago and growing up in different parts of the US and other regions, Umar got into many shenanigans as a child. Sometime after he and his family had settled in Chattanooga, his brother took him to work one day. Umar discovered his “comfort zone” and much-needed outlet for life’s challenges. “That experience made me fall in love with nature,” he said.
He soon decided to intern with Lookout Mountain Conservancy for the duration of his time at high school. In 2016, LMC’s CEO Robyn Carlton asked Umar to be a part of her keynote address at the annual Land Trust Alliance Rally ––the largest gathering of land conservation organizations in the country. “I was inspired to share my story. That helped me understand the conservation world more and how I could play my part,” Umar says. “People wanted to hear my story, they wanted to do inclusion work.” Many of these people continue to make an impact on Umar’s life.
Umar is excited to work at the Bailey & Sarah Williamson Preserve and looks forward to making an impact at all of TLC’s preserves. Umar currently lives in Raleigh, NC, with his wife, two young children, three-year-old daughter Nyla, and a seven-month-old son, Niem.